I’m 59 days out from ES100 so I guess it’s time I came up with a training plan.  The good news is that Old Dominion proved that I’m in the best 100 mile shape of my life.  Granted, I’ve only been doing these for a little over 2 years now (boy, 2015 C&O 100 seems like a long time ago), but I’m starting hit my groove.  At this point, I don’t really need to train for ES100 as I need to recover from OD100 and then maintain that fitness over the next 2 months.  This was my goal bridging from Umstead to OD this spring and since that worked out so well, I’m just going to copy and paste with two tweaks.

The Plan
  • Two weekends (3 total weeks) off from running anything long (i.e. more than 5 miles).  Ten days out from OD and I feel almost back to normal.  I believe I could start ramping back up to decent mileage this weekend, but am taking an extra week to get closer to a full 100%.
  • Midweek running limited to two 5 mile runs and three 1 mile runs.  All at an easy recovery pace unless I feel like pushing.  These are my “fun” runs and one of the ways I can crank out the mileage I do on the weekends is because that’s my only real workout of the week.  I’ll leave the fartleks and mile repeats to other runners.
  • Four long runs (20, 20, 25, and 31 miles).  The first tweak is I’m adding in an extra 20 mile run since I have an extra week between races.
  • Increased elevation during long runs.  The second modification is that I’m increasing my elevation gain per mile from the 90 foot range to the 125-150 foot range.  Eastern States has much gnarlier trails than Old Dominion and I need to toughen my legs up a bit.

The biggest change from last year’s plan is that I’m cutting down on the elevation gain during my long runs.  Last year I focused on getting more vertical than the course I was going to run (215-220 feet vs. 200 in the race).  This translated into lots and lots of hiking uphill.  I think this may have made me a slower runner.  This spring it was all about running (relatively) fast during my long runs (9-10 minute miles) to build speed ahead of Umstead so the hilliest runs I did maxed out at about 90 feet elevation gain per mile.  OD was a much hillier course than Umstead (14k feet vs. 8k), however I didn’t up the vertical leading up to it.  And I don’t believed a paid too dear a price for this omission.  It turns out I seemed to be stronger on the hills than most others around me so my lack of elevation in training didn’t seem to hurt me.  For this training block heading into Eastern States, I’m going to focus on running much more than I did last year.  I want to add in some more vertical, but I still want to end up running most of my long runs.

The weather has finally turned into summer here in southeastern PA with temperatures into the 90s.  Perfect for ES100 training.

Hope your summer training is going well.

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